Thursday, September 13, 2018

Diabetes Friends, Pod Changes, And A Lost Bottle Of Insulin

Last Friday night I spent time with local diabetes friends - a family who lived in the next town over. The timing was right and my Omnipod was about to run out. 
A few weeks back, I’d offered to fill a new pod/do a site change in front of the Dmama and t1 AlmostTweenT1 daughter so they’d know what to expect when they went for Omnipod training. Friday morning I texted Dmama, and told her I’d be changing my site between 4:30 and 5:30. If it was good for them, I ‘d stop over. If it wasn’t, we could schedule for another day.

People with diabetes do that. We show-off and explain our hardware; share experiences and help one another out when diabetes is being bitchy. 
We share because we “get it.” We speak the language of diabetes and in the same diabetes dialect. And it’s comforting.   
Those are just some of the gifts of our D community — both online and off - and I love and am so incredibly grateful for those gifts. 
Friday morning I packed my diabetes bag with my almost new bottle of insulin — as in I’d used it exactly twice. 
Plus 2 pods, extra skin-tac, and my PDM and test strips , which were already in my diabetes bag. . 
I was good to go. 
7 hours later I knocked on their door and we caught up on life and life with diabetes.
I also learned that American Girl sold Doll manicure kits with “real nail polish for the dolls and that they only cost $10.”  Also: Said manicure kit came with some hideous looking (at least it looked damn hideous on the computer screen), bubblegum pink nail-polish, that would thankfully wash off.

But to each her own. 

45 minutes later, with 3 units left in my old pod and 2 hours until my current pod officially expired, my friends watched as I cancelled out my old pod; filled the new pod with insulin, went through the PDM prompts, and prepped the skin on my left arm with skin-tac. 
Dmama asked questions and my assistant AlmostTweenT1, pressed the PDM button after each prompt and only after I gave her the OK. 
We were done in a snap. 
AlmostTweenT1 smiled and said “COOL,” then went to go play with her brothers.
I checked my blood sugar: 146. Dmama  offered me a juice- box. I did and bolused for it, and we kept talking.
20 minutes later I started packing up and came THIS CLOSE to forgetting my insulin. 
I didn’t - and made sure it was tucked safely in both its box and my diabetes bag before I zipped it up tight in my diabetes bag and tossed it in my handbag.

We said our goodbyes and promised to meet up in a few weeks. 

I went home, put my box of almost new insulin in the fridge immediately and completely forgot about it. 

Cut to Monday morning when I woke up with an itchy site and a 300 blood sugar. 
My arm site had crapped out with 12 hours to go and 13 units left. 
Shit happens and I went to grab my insulin. 
Which I did… except the box was empty, the insulin bottle was missing. 
I checked the fridge shelf where every bottle of insulin I open makes it’s temporary home - NOTHING. 
I checked in the veggie drawer where my unopened bottles of insulin live. 
I looked on every shelf in my fridge, and then under it. SO GROSS. 
Then I looked on my kitchen floor and under my stove. 
I dumped out my diabetes bag, handbag, and work bag. NADA. 
The clock was ticking, my blood sugar was high, and I needed to get in the shower. 

I also needed coffee. So I temporarily shoved the lost bottle of insulin to the back of my mind,  opened a new bottle of insulin and did what I had to do. 

I knew how lucky I was to have extra insulin bottles in my fridge. 

The cost of one bottle of insulin kept running through my head and the thought of losing one bottle made me sick to my stomach. 

 I looked for that damn bottle of insulin for two days. 

I KNEW I hadn’t left it at my friends. 
A. She would have texted me ASAP.
B. I knew that if I texted and asked if they’d found an extra opened bottle of insulin, my Dmama friend would worry. 

I didn't want that. 

Plus, I was worrying enough for the both of us. 

Last night I came home and kept thinking about that damn bottle - I had a feeling I’d find it 6 months later and in a place I never thought to look. 
Maybe it fell out of my bag as I was going up the steps. I checked in my stairwell and up my stairs. NOTHING. I flipped the cushions on the couch and then checked under it. ZILCH.
And if it was in my car — it was cooked. 

I thought about what if I didn't have backup - and what if I'd had to explain losing a bottle of insulin - the very stuff that keeps me alive to my insurance company - and I knew they would tell me that I was SOL. 

I took a hot shower, put on my pajamas and flipped through NetFlix. 
Before I went to bed I decided to check near the fridge one more time. Nothing. 

But something made me look in my pantry — which I’d already looked in multiple times. 
And there in the corner —  on my white and gray patterned floor…. was my white labeled bottle of insulin — blending in so well I could barely see it.
I washed the bottle under cold water, then swabbed it with alcohol. 
When it was dry, I marked it with a purple Sharpie , so I’d know to use that bottle first. 

And I was thankful.
I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about others who weren't lucky -  because they couldn't afford insulin or were forced to ration insulin and  are no longer here.

1 comment:

Rick Phillips said...

I am amazed at how much we share insulin no matter the cost. Yes I am not happy with the cost, but I am thrilled that we are still willing to share no matter. If you are in Indianapolis and need a bottle give me a call. I'm happy to share. I will call you when I am in your city if I need a vial.